Posted on: July 22, 2011 9:17 am
Edited on: July 22, 2011 9:26 am

OKC gets an arena sponsor

By Matt Moore

Oklahoma City's arena has been just called "The Oklahoma City Arena" for the past three seasons, with the team not needing a sponsor or having one in place yet. But that changed Friday as the Thunder, along with the city of Oklahoma City, which owns the arena, announced its new sponsor: energy giant Chesapeake Energy. The new "Chesapeake Energy Arena" will have all the standard, overbearing signage in place by the 2011-2012 season. 

The deal is worth $3 million for the naming rights, which isn't bad for a market like OKC. From the presser: 

The 12-year naming rights agreement has an initial annual cost of $3.0 million with a 3.0% annual escalation. The agreement includes Chesapeake branding throughout the building including on the basketball court, prominent premium placement on the high-definition scoreboard and new state-of-the-art interior and exterior digital signage. Most of the signage will be in place by the start of the Thunder’s 2011-12 season. 

Chesapeake's involved in oil drilling, but has shifted a majority of its business efforts toward natural gas. So with that in mind, what should we call this place as a nickname? You know, like "The Q" in Cleveland, or "The Cable Box" in Charlotte. Maybe "The Gas Hole?" No? How about "The Oil Slick?" Maybe just "The Well?" 

Not exactly the most appealing possibilities, but for $3 million I'm pretty sure OKC would let whoever name it whatever they wanted.
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: May 16, 2011 10:45 am

How Kohl's political retirement affects Bucks

Posted by Matt Moore

Last week Bucks owner Senator Robert Kohl announced he would not seek another term in 2012.  Immediately, Bucks fans turned their attentions to what this means for the future of the Bucks with Kohl no longer taking in political income. Kohl was pretty clear on Friday about his intentions to remain in the ownership group and move forward as the Bucks try and find a new arena deal. 
On Friday, Kohl said he would continue to own the Bucks. "I feel good about my run as owner of the team," he said.

As Kohl well knows, the Bucks operate in one of the smallest markets in the National Basketball Association and plays in an aging arena that limits the amount of revenue the team can generate. Kohl has said for years that he loses money each year on the franchise, but he has never specifically cited a figure.

"I'm fully expecting we will continue to be here," Kohl said of the Bucks. "That in the years to come, we will find a way as a community and as a state to build a modern complex. And that in generations to come, the Bucks will continue to be a part of the landscape in Milwaukee."
via Kohl now can focus on Bucks' future - JSOnline.

Kohl has maintained for years that he would only sell to a group that was committed to keeping the team in Wisconsin. But with Kohl 76 and the Bucks one of the  more prominent money bleeds in the league, without a new arena deal it'll be difficult for Kohl to maintain his control over what happens to the Bucks past his ownership. On the flip side, however, Kohl's free time could mean he is more able to commit to working to solve problems both in the arena and basketball departments. The Bucks' slide backwards this season took the wind out of the momentum they had created last season. The only way a new arena happens is if public interest spikes.

Kohl's certainly saying the things you want to hear as a Bucks fan. But this is a period of change, and that can also lead to transition. The future of the Bucks isn't certain until new ownership and a new arena are in place. Kohl's role in the CBA negotiations centered around revenue sharing this summer could be significant.
Posted on: April 5, 2011 2:02 am

The Nets' Brooklyn arrival may not be so great

Posted by Matt Moore

The Nets are headed to Brooklyn in 2012, to begin what they hope is an ascent to relevance behind a relocation to the big city. And they'll have a building. Unfortunately, the rest of the swanky new digs they're supposed to be moving into probably won't be there. From the New York Post
Documents filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission by developer Bruce Ratner and his Forest City Enterprises warn that the non-arena portions of the plan could experience "further delays" leading to most or all of the rest of the 22-acre, $4.9 billion project being scrapped.

Risks to investors cited in the SEC filings include the potential of rising construction costs and financing rates, loss of arena sponsorships and inability to meet government-approved construction deadlines.

"If any of the foregoing risks were to occur we may . . . not be able to develop Brooklyn Atlantic Yards to the extent intended or at all," according to one of the developers SEC filings.

Ratner and Forest City -- in a doomsday scenario -- could potentially lose $525 million on the project, "excluding any potential write-offs for the arena" and "liquidated damages," the filings say.

Forest City reported "record" earnings the past year ending Jan. 31, in part fueled by selling Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov a majority interest in the money-losing New Jersey Nets, who will move to the Barclays Center arena for the 2012-13 NBA season.
via New Jersey Nets ownership and Bruce Ratner cant deliver on Atlantic Yards plan promises according to SEC papers - NYPOST.com.

Brooklyn Atlantic Yards was proposed and approved before the economic recession hit, before the real estate crash, before the landscape of development shifted. Now, after pushing through a hardfought neighborhood association effort to block the building of the arena along with navigating difficult political waters, most of the construction won't be completed in time, if at all. The neighborhood groups have to be thrilled with that news. 

What's more, it lends to the continuing public perception that the Nets will always be second place to the Knicks. While the Knicks play in the World's Most Famous Arena, the Nets are moving into a "potentially" non-descript arena in Brooklyn. Whether fair or not, that will be the perception sold. 

But of course, it's still a new building, which is the important thing, in New York, which is the more important thing. This is still a no-lose for Barclays and Prokhorov, and the shopping malls and Dippin' Dots courtyards can be completed at a later date. But the future of the Nets as a franchise remains very much unclear both on and off the court. 
Posted on: October 1, 2010 9:30 am

Shootaround 10.1.10: BIG

Teams that didn't win big, Philly's bigs need to come up big, and Jefferson just is big, all in today's Shootaround. Posted by Matt Moore

So we always debate the best championship teams. But what about the best teams that didn't win a title ? Dime took a look at those squads and added the 08-09 Cavs. It's hard to imagine that team holding up over time as we look back at Mo Williams' and Antawn Jamison's careers. The 2002 Sacramento Kings, though? That was a pretty great team. One objection? The 2007 Dallas Mavericks need to be on that list. Had the Mavericks not drawn the Warriors in the first round, it's hard to see how Cuban wouldn't be coveting his ring.

A Sonics fan tells Kings fans to pray , because the NBA doesn't care. It should be amended, though to "Pray, because the NBA doesn't care as long as you continually vote down measures for new stadiums. I'm not saying you should have to pay for new stadiums. I'm saying as long as you refeuse to, you open yourself up to getting Thunder'd. There's a reason Orlando fans are going to be enjoying the Amway Center this season while Sonics fans enjoy the Seahawks this fall.

A great feature on DeMarcus Cousins and his family history . There's so much talk about Cousins being a problem child, but he hasn't been in trouble since the tenth grade. I've never understood how a kid that hasn't had trouble in four years since he was a young teen is somehow a huge concern. Everyone's going to be regretting passing on Cousins when he and Reke are running the pick and roll for years.

The Daniel Orton era is pointing toward bustville. After being considered a reach to begin with, then getting worked over in Summer League, Orton will miss the entire preseason with a knee injury . Orton needs to spend time in the D-League, but the Magic almost never assign their players, which only increases the odds that Orton will flame out.

Speaking of big man injuries, Tiago Splitter tweaked his right leg yesterday (via Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears).

Sixers president Rod Thorn says their success is dependent on their bigs . Elton Brand is specifically pointed out in the excellent piece by SI's Chris Mannix, but Mareese Speights also needs to stay healthy and take steps into becoming a legit power forward. It's time for him to capitalize on that youthful potential and great per-minute numbers.

Take note of this. It may just be pillow talk. But Eric Spoelstra says that the unselfish play necessary to share the ball for the Heat is already there. That's really relevant for a team with such high usage. You need to be able to operate as an actual functioning offense so that you don't wind up looking like an All-Star team. You know. The kind that winds up with the ball off-court more than Anna Kournikova (remember her?).

International superstar Dirk Nowitzki? He's not so much a fan of the goaltending rule change being proposed .

Kobe's going to get some run in the international exhibition games . Because he's a freak of nature with no "off" button. There isn't another player who if they were at Bryant's level would wnat to play in these games with the injuries he's still recovering from. The man is more driven than any human being alive.

Al Jefferson may have showed up out of shape , but Jerry Sloan a. isn't pointing him out specifically in discussions of players being out of shape and b.) apparently doesn't look like he's out of shape . It'll be interesting to see how this plays out and if he gets off on a bad foot with Jerry Sloan. Patient fatherly figure that he is.
Posted on: September 29, 2010 1:49 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 1:53 pm

NBA pulls back helping Sacramento get new arena

Posted by Royce Young

Tell me if we've heard this story before. NBA team ownership wants a new arena. They say current arena can't be upgraded. And plans for a new arena are hitting major snags. The next part, well, you can fill in what that might be.

Where am I going with this? Well, the NBA has pulled the plug on supporting a new arena in downtown Sacramento, the Sac Bee reports. In an email to The Bee, NBA official John Moag said, "On the heels of the disappointing – but not surprising – action (or inaction) of the state and Cal Expo board, it is fair to say that the NBA has ceased its activities on the Sacramento arena front. However, we will continue to monitor and respond to the activities and options of others that might reasonably ensure the competitiveness and viability of the Kings' franchise."


But it's not all on the NBA here.
The statement came just days after the Cal Expo board closed the door on an NBA plan to move the State Fair to where Arco Arena is to help finance the new downtown arena.

Obviously, everyone from Seattle is having violent flashbacks right now. This sounds like the same song they heard when the city voted down financing a new arena. And with this new development, David Stern was reportedly "not enthused."

Arco is now one of the league's oldest arenas and is in need of an upgrade. But since that isn't likely coming, a brand new building is going to be required to keep both the NBA and Kings ownership happy. Voters already turned that down once, but things can always turn around.

But it's not all doom and gloom for the Kings. They have something the Sonics did not in stable, local ownership and plus, the team's prospects on the floor are looking up. This is certainly a setback for the Kings and some might hear moving trucks starting up with this development, but that's a long way off right now.
Category: NBA
Posted on: July 12, 2010 3:11 pm

Pacers will not be Thunder'd, staying in Indy

It was coming down to the wire, but it looks like the city of Indianapolis has locked in the Pacers to keep the franchise in its native city, which it has been in since 1967.

Think about that for a tick. When the Pacers started playing basketball in Indy, the Beatles had three more years left in them (kind of). They pre-date the musical Hair . The Super Bowl is a hair older than them. But times are tough, and the Pacers' basketball decisions tougher, and there's been talk of the team relocating if a new arena deal couldn't be hammered out, with team ownership looking for the city to absorb operating costs at Conseco Fieldhouse.

But the Indianapolis Star reports today that ownership and the city have come to an agreement , where the city is not fronting a majority of costs for the arena, but is taking on over $33 million over the next three years. To coincide with that payment, strict penalities of up to $15+ million have been put into place if the team were to attempt to leave early. That's in addition to an early termination penalty of $20 million, essentially locking in the Pacers until 2019 and keeping the franchise home.

It's a good agreement, with solid compromise on both sides, that is being met with fierce opposition, as pretty much anything that involves tax dollars is these days. Billionaire owners wanting a hand with cleaning the floors does not go over well, in this, or any economy. Seattle decided as a city to stick to their guns and not buckle to ownership demands about the arena, and paid the price when it gave Clay Bennett the opportunity to relocate, which he was looking to do anyway. This is an issue that will continue to be fiercely debated until a standard is set in the courts or elsewhere.

But for right now, Pacers fans can breathe easy knowing their team will be playing in Indy for the forseeable future.

-Matt Moore
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com